Explore To Do - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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hiking
1 day ago

Couldn't have asked for a better hike today. The weather was beautiful, we had to park at the Brainard Lake Lot after getting there at 9am. It wasn't nearly as crowded as I had expected
Everyone we did come across was super nice and very quiet. If someone can tell me of a place that is this easy of a hike and even more beautiful please let me know. I'm not sure there is a place.

Quintessential Boulder hike. Went clockwise today - I prefer to tackle the big “steps” on the ascent and come down through the valley. Always nice to have bathrooms (across the street from the trailhead.) Friendly faces and interesting terrain. A perennial favorite.

so pretty! lots of fun things to see along the trail. I loved the many creeks, lakes and flowers.

on Lake Isabelle Trail

hiking
3 days ago

Beautiful BUT: The Lake is now drained. There's only little water left. no more waterfall, and compared to a month ago most of the wildflowers are now gone.
Still a nice walk/hike, would suggest going later in the day as it gets crowded in the morning.

"Stairmaster Sanitas" is a great place to get a very real workout in. We are in decent shape and climbed up Sanitas and went back around the valley loop trail within 2.5 hours. I would categorize this as "moderate to hard" given a few of the rocks you have to scramble over and how steep it is. While you can carry a child on a backpack up an down, it's not the greatest one to choose for that since you might have to shuffle a bit over rocks, etc.

The rapid elevation increase is immediately apparent. The change in trail, foliage and scenery was enjoyable. The last 10th of a mile will kick your butt, be prepared! The view of Horsetooth Reservoir and Fort Collins is breathtaking! I would not recommend this trail to those out of shape or new to hiking.

Great little hike. Got there at 830 ish and had to park further away.

Beautiful stream and gorgeous lake

Did this hike with wife and kids (2 and 5), had hiking child carriers.

hiking
5 days ago

Definitely a challenging trail. I’m in good shape but being from a lower elevation, I felt pretty winded at times. With breaks I still took about 4 hours with a half hour break at the peak. The view was worth it for sure. Highly recommend getting an early start since the trail is in the full sun at the beginning.

I’m honestly hesitant to give this a review because of how good it is. This is a hidden gem (from tourism) and perfect alternative to the emerald lake, dream lake, lily lake, etc. It’s also not only easy, but a great duration. I suggest an evening hike for the sunset at Lake Isabelle, absolutely incredible. Check weather though for any afternoon hikes, always.

I started the hike at long TH. Was able to find parking at 10ish- someone was leaving. Not sure if I made it all the way to the Glacier because I also wanted to do Pawnee. Hiked to the end of the lake. Climbed up and my dog played in the creek and snow. Must do hike! If you are crazy. You can do this and Pawnee. This hike was easy to moderate in the opinion someone in their 20s who is a hiking machine. Pawnee is much harder.

This hike borders on moderate to hard. A fairly mild incline with a few steeper sections. We have run into a large bear on this trail so be alert and be prepared for what to do. We had to turn around the last time when the big guy would not back off and grant us passage.

hiking
6 days ago

This trail was gorgeous but we went on a Wednesday and it was extremely busy. It was a pretty easy trail for an amazing view.

Not a loop trail, and it is over 2 miles one way to get to Lost Lake. We had a time constraint and had to turn around and didn't see the lake. Due to misleading description on AllTrails we didn't allow enough time. Trail is poorly marked with a few spots you have to choose a trail, but indeed there are many hikers to consult. Download the map before you get up there. I forgot and didn't have service so it was too late. Map would have been helpful. The difficulty ratings on AllTrails are also misleading. As an experienced and relatively fit hiker this hike is easy, but the I'm trying to find a trail for out of town visitors with varying fitness levels and this ain't it. There's many other trails on AllTrails rated as easy that are clearly not easy.

Awesome hike

Best hike in Colorado! Beautiful views and an easy hike without a lot of elevation gain

I started up the Sanitas Valley Loop first. Beautiful views of urban Boulder and a smattering of homes in the hills. The moderate valley trail gives way to some steep inclines as it connects with the East Ridge trail. I was visiting from Atlanta so I had to catch my breath and steady my footing as the trail ascended. Had to get used to the change in altitude. Plan to take your time navigating the rocky, sometimes not well marked East Ridge trail if your new to it and out there alone. I got out early in the am and had a few hikers help me find the trail but I can see that this trail gets very well populated after mid morning. At the top of Ridge Trail I met some nice folks who directed me to Lion’s Lair trail just beyond the summit for a good trail run. This trail was pretty smooth and the decline makes for a steady tempo run. Don’t get too comfortable because the switchbacks will keep you on your game. Overall a fun trail to test your trail speed. The locals pointed directed me on how to go from the Lion’s Lair trail to a narrow barely there trail that runs parallel to Sunshine Canyon Dr. This trail led to me the Centennial Trailhead parking lot. Overall awesome experience for a trail runner who wants to mix it up with a hike and run.

Beautiful. Well-marked hike.

this incline is no joke! my poor pups paws were shredded after hiking these rocks. I ended up having to carry her 2 miles to the end. It was scenic but not as great as everyone makes it out to be.

hiking
10 days ago

BEAUTIFUL! Really easy hike and great for dogs, took mine and he had an easy time going on the trail

Great trail! Love the view!

Highly recommended views were amazing. The trail is very well maintained. So beautiful!

Very challenging, beautiful hike! Once you’re at the top there’s an option to hike down towards Sanitas Valley Trail via East Ridge Trail. There was a point along East Ridge Trail that we felt did not have ample signage as we ended up going down the mountain off the trail. Other than that this trail was awesome!

Packed parking lot at 7:30. Waited good half an hour for a spot which we didn’t mind as we were waiting for the rain to stop as well. Started at 8:30 and finished at 1:30. We ate lunch by the waterfall and glacier about half mile past lake Isabelle. Stopped a lot to enjoy the gorgeous view! Will definitely go back and finish the whole trail!

Lake Isabelle did not disappoint, we saw a moose! Hike is mostly easy- towards the end I might describe as moderate. Take extra water- the altitude bothered me a bit. I also think that from 10am onwards some of the early birds are leaving because several parking spots opened up.

This is such a beautiful hike. Definitely one of my favorites in Colorado so far. I recommend going early as the parking lots fill quickly.

hiking
11 days ago

As an avid hiker, I have to admit that I had my doubts when reading reviews that said “best or one of the best hikes”. However, I have to agree. This hike is amazing and perfect for the whole family. We got there fairly early (6:30ish), but parking at trailhead was already full so we had to park at Brainard Lake, which was also filling up quickly. But the little distance it adds is no big deal. Lots of beautiful wildflowers, gorgeous views, waterfalls, marmots and we saw 2 big bull moose at the first lake you pass. The only negative about this hike is the popularity of it; if I’ll do it again, I would make sure to be there earlier. (On a side note, if you own a National Park Pass, bring it. Mine was safely at home, because I thought it was $11 cash only)

It is beautiful up there today! We got to the full parking lot at 7:30, we stayed and waited for good half hour to park and it was rainy so waiting in the car was no big deal. The sun came out about 8:30 and it was glorious! This hike is easy and fun. You can’t beat the scenery! I would do it again!

hiking
11 days ago

This is a great hike. I would call this the long slog to the top. We took Mesa via Towhee to Shadow Canyon to Bear Peak. Really beautiful views at all levels of the hike. Ran into rain/hail going up and waited it out. it cleared for a bit and by the time we reached the saddle more fronts we coming in. The Summit scramble was quick and we got pounded again with hail/rain coming back down to the Saddle. Overall...it was an awesome hike with wonderful view. took us 7.5 hours round trip. Most of that was due to several breaks and a couple good pauses for sheltering from the hail.

This is by far my favorite hike in Colorado. The views are breathtaking. The trail is well marked and maintained. The parking situation can be tricky if you don’t get a spot in the Longs Lake lot. The additional mile and a half road walk from the Brainard parking lot is no big deal given how gorgeous this hike is.

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